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MATERIALS DESIGN AND

IMPLEMENTATION OF
INDUCTIVE CORPUS-BASED
GRAMMAR INSTRUCTION
A REPORT FROM THE CLASSROOM

WHY USE CORPORA IN THE CLASSROOM?


Because corpus-based, inductive language learning:
1. Encourages learner autonomy
2. Provides students (and teachers) with authentic
language examples
3. Fosters critical thinking and research skills
4. Encourages a critical, context-based view of grammar
5. Encourages a lexico-grammatical/ systemicfunctional view of grammar

IMPORTANT CONSIDERATIONS FOR


DESIGNING AND USING CORPUS-BASED
LESSONS AND MATERIALS:
Students may have a negative reaction to corpusbased inductive learning if they feel:
1. Under-informed, under-prepared, or undersupported
2. That there is no clear purpose for or benefits to
corpus investigation (Vannestl & Lindquist, 2007)
3. Overworked (Vannestl & Lindquist, 2007)

CORPUS-RESEARCH IN THE
CLASSROOM REQUIRES:
1. Sufficient preparation
2. Sufficient mediation

3. Sufficient justification

TYPES OF CORPUS-BASED ACTIVITIES


1. teacher-designed or student-designed
2. teacher-led or student-led
3. collaborative or independent
4. indirect or direct
(Vyatkina, 2013)

CORPUS RESEARCH WORKSHOP:


MODAL VERBS SCAVENGER HUNT
Instructions:
1. Go to the Lextutor website: http://www.lextutor.ca/conc/eng/
2. Choose the 1k graded corpus from the pull-down menu
marked corpus.
3. Search for examples of each word in the far left column of the
chart.

4. Choose 1 or more examples and copy-and-paste them into the


correct square according to the functions listed in the top row
(you might not fill in every box, but that is ok).
5. If you find any examples that do not fit on this chart, can you
think of another category to put them in?

6. Can you make any conclusions about what the different modal
verbs on this worksheet are used for? Discuss your findings
with your partner and share them with the class.

Larger context for SHOULD in Corpus corpus_graded_1k.txt

Much later, in the 1860s, English printers started


to produce thousands of cards.
By 1880, the Post
Office was asking people to 'post early for
Christmas'. Are You a Santa or a Scrooge?
1. . . Do you ...
a) give the best Christmas party in town?
b) talk about giving the best Christmas party in
town?
c) think that everybody should go to bed at nine
o'clock like you? . . .

*Instructors without computer and/or internet access can do a similar activity with
printed lists of concordances-in-context such as the one above. Students can fill
out the worksheet (next slide) by hand using such a print-out.

CORPUS RESEARCH WORKSHOP: MODAL VERBS


Request

Should
Would/
would like
to
Could
May
Might

Must
Can
Need(s)to/
needed to
Have to/
has to/ had
to

Prediction

Permission Possibility

Necessity

Recommendation

CONCLUSIONS
Tentative guidelines for using inductive CBI in the ESL classroom:
1. Inductive, corpus-based learning must occur in a student-centred,
curiosity-fostering environment with appropriate scaffolding and
support.
2. The purpose and potential benefits of inductive CBI must be made
clear to students.
3. Students should be encouraged to take on a critical, functional
view of grammar. While this may be a natural result of CBI, explicit
emphasis on this point may make some students more receptive to
CBI.
4. Instructors must prepare sufficiently by experimenting with queries
prior to class.
5. Instructors must provide technical and linguistic support,
appropriate sequencing of simple to complex activities, support
with the transition to inductive learning, and support in developing
critical thinking and research skills.

REFERENCES
Bagheri, M. S., & Aeen, L. (2011). The impact of practicing autonomy on the writing proficiency of Iranian
intermediate EFL learners. Pan-Pacific Association of Applied Linguistics, 15(1), 113.
Jean, G., & Simard, D. (2013). Deductive versus inductive grammar instruction: Investigating possible
relationships between gains, preferences and learning styles. System, 41(4), 10231042.
doi:10.1016/j.system.2013.10.008
Liu, D. (2011). Making grammar instruction more empowering: An exploratory case study of corpus use in the
learning / teaching of grammar review of the literature: Theoretical Framework for the Approach, 45(4), 353378.
Liu, D., & Jiang, P. (2009). Using a corpus-based lexicogrammatical approach to grammar instruction in EFL and
ESL contexts. The Modern Language Journal, 93(1), 6178.
Mall-amiri, B., & Sheikhy, F. (2014). The comparative impact of autonomy and critical thinking on EFL learners
writing achievement. Theory and Practice in Language Studies, 4(5), 903916. doi:10.4304/tpls.4.5.903-916

Ngurah, I. P., & Myartawan, W. (2013). The correlation between learner autonomy and English proficiency of
Indonesian EFL college learners. TEFLIN Journal, 24(1), 6382.
Vannestl, M. E., & Lindquist, H. (2007). Learning English grammar with a corpus: Experimenting with
concordancing in a university grammar course. ReCALL, 19(03), 329. doi:10.1017/S0958344007000638
Vyatkina, N. (2013). Discovery learning and teaching with electronic corpora in an advanced German grammar
course. Die Unterrichtspraxis/Teaching German, 46(1), 4461. doi:10.1111/tger.10128